No one can pretend that the Abyssinian situation is developing
satisfactorily, for the tone of Signor Mussolini's speeches, the continued despatch of Italian troops to Africa and the virulence of the Italian Press attacks on this country, are all signs of a temper in Italy which bodes ill for a friendly settlement of the dispute. The danger is that the Italian people, who as a whole• appear to view the prospect of military operations in Africa with no enthusiasm, will object to paying a long bill—and the bill will be of very considerable length— - with nothing to show for it. Signor Mussolini may therefore be driven to find something he can show— territory or concessions or indemnity. In that case his obvious policy will be to make the most of any fresh frontier incident, such as the fracas reported this week from Rome and denied from Addis Ababa. The Geneva discussions relieved the immediate tension, but continued vigilance will be needed, and it is to be hoped that the new Foreign Secretary will make as plain as 'Mr. Eden did what this country's view of any deliberate threat to Abyssinia's independence would be. We value Italy's friendship, and she has reason to value ours at least as much.